Nearly half of America's working families with a child under age 13 have child care expenses that consume on average 9 percent of their monthly earnings. Working low-income families, single parents, and families with younger children spend a considerably higher share of their earnings on child care. Families with earnings below the federal poverty level who pay for child care spend an average of 23 percent of their monthly earnings on childcare. The average dollar amount that a family spends on child care in a month varies widely across states, reflecting differences in state costs of living, but the share of earnings that a family spends does not.
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